Rajendra Prasad was an Indian politician who served as the first president of India from 1950 to 1962. He was a leader of the Indian National Congress and a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
About Rajendra Prasad
In his early life, he studied at Harvard University and became an electrical engineer in New York. Later, he returned to India after 1947 and joined Jawaharlal Nehru’s government as Minister for Agriculture. In 1950, he became President of India after gaining support from all major political parties, including those representing Muslims and Communists, which until then had been at odds with each other over their differences on the principle leadership question.
Rajendra Prasad studies law at Calcutta University.
Life as a Student
Rajendra Prasad joined the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha at the age of 23. Later, he studied in the same class with Sarat Chandra Bose, Abdul Kalam Azad, Shaukat Ali Jinnah, and many others.
Birth of Prasad
Rajendra Prasad was born on December 9, 1889 at Darbhanga (Bihar) in the now-eastern Indian state of Bihar . He had his early education in Darbhanga and graduated from Calcutta University with a degree in Science.
Personal Life of Prasad
Rajendra Prasad married to Sarojini Naidu . They two married on 8 June 1916. He had two children, a daughter and a son, who died of illness at the age of 26 months.
Rajendra Prasad started his career with Indian Railways in 1908 as an electrical engineer. In 1926, he resigned from his job in Railways to take part in the Indian independence movement. He joined the Bihar Vidyapeeth and became active in politics.
During his stay in the United States, Rajendra Prasad came into contact with many prominent leaders including Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose.
Work as a Teacher
Rajendra Prasad worked as a teacher with the government board School at Mokameh in Bihar. Rajendra Prasad entered politics on the side of Mahatma Gandhi. He jailed for his participation in the Salt March in 1950.
Work as a Lawyer
Rajendra Prasad became a lawyer in Bihar. He also became a member of the Bar Council.
Public and Political Life
After India’s independence, Rajendra Prasad formed the Bihar Legislative Assembly group and then served as a Deputy Minister from Bihar in Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet. In 1952, he elected as the president of the Indian National Congress and had to resign from his post as Congress President when protest forced him to step down. He re-elected as president of the Congress party on February 28, 1955. But later he resigned again on July 15 after being re-elected unopposed by the party plenary.
Join Freedom Movement
Rajendra Prasad joined the Indian Freedom Movement in 1920 and participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement, Satyagraha, and Civil Disobedience Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi from 1921 to 1922. He imprisoned for two years after the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement.
He was a member of Provincial Congress Committees and attended annual sessions of Congress several times between 1925-1937. From 1937 to 1939, he served as a Minister in Bihar Government under Sri Bimala Prasad Choudhury.
Role in Freedom Fight
He actively participated in India’s freedom struggle. Later, Prasad went to jail in the 1930s and 1940s for his participation in the freedom struggle. Therefore, he elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly In 1946, which drafted the constitution of India.
Became a Politician
He participated in the freedom movement of India and was jailed several times by the British colonial government. Later, after the country was independent, he became an important leader of the Indian National Congress and played a pivotal role in getting Mahatma Gandhi’s political party to accept Nehru as its leader. In 1952, he served for a brief time as Prime Minister of India as part-time premier until internal dissensions within his party forced him to resign.
Become First President
When Rajendra Prasad’s name was proposed by Jawahar Lal Nehru as a candidate for President, opposition exploded. The opposition felt that Rajendra was not qualified for the top post and no one from any community opposed his name. Till then it was a tradition that whoever becomes Vice President would become President later on provided he is alive.
Rajendra Prasad collaborated with the Government under Jawaharlal Nehru but played a significant role in bringing about a consensus for the integration of princely states into the Indian Union.
After being elected as the first President of India on January 24, 1950. Later, he given a ceremonial reception at Delhi Gate by students of Modern School and Convent of Jesus and Mary. He visited Pakistan in 1954 to promote friendship. As a result, this visit has been acknowledged by the Pakistani premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as a milestone in improving relations with that country.
Become Bharat Ratna
Rajendra Prasad awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award on his 82nd birthday by the Government of India. He also recognized as one of the greatest Indian leaders of modern times.
Renowned for his contribution to the country’s freedom struggle and as a leader of the integrated movement with states in India, Rajendra Prasad is remembered among the public as well as among fellow politicians.